City leaders have issued a safety warning following a spate of health-related incidents linked to drugs and alcohol in Bristol.
Senior Public Health and Police officers have spoken out about their concerns about the introduction of dangerous high strength recreational drugs into the city that have sadly claimed the life of one young person and hospitalised several others in the past week.
Christina Gray, Director of Public Health at Bristol City Council, said: “We’re becoming increasingly concerned about reports of a potentially lethal batch of drugs circulating in the city. It remains to be seen how widespread the issue is, however the recent hospitalisation of several people and the death of a young person over one weekend, suggests that this is not an isolated incident. Whilst I advise everyone against the use of illegal substances I urge anyone who intends to do so to take extra care and be aware of your friends and the help available to you. We’ve all waited a long time for the weekends to return, please don’t make it your last.
“Help is available for anyone who needs it, be it immediate health support if you or a friend are in trouble or longer-term aid to overcome addiction. If you’re worried about someone or you need confidential advice, please get in touch with a local or national service as soon as possible.”
Bristol Commander Supt Mark Runacres said: "We'd urge people to follow the advice of health experts to make sure they do not put themselves at undue risk.
"Officers will again be out engaging with people across the weekend as part of our established night-time economy policing plans.
"Our aim is not to stop people having fun; our aim is to make sure people remain safe while they have a good time."
Anyone in immediate danger or in need of urgent medical support should call 999.
Longer term support is available through a number of specialist organisations, with a range of medical and psychological help on offer. Bristol ROADS (recovery orientated alcohol and drug service) offers a single point of contact for a range support options, delivered through a consortium of specialist organisations. Call 0117 440 0540 or email email@example.com for information on how to access our services.
The Bristol Drugs Project Youth Team (BDP) work with a range of youth organisations to support young people who live in Bristol and are using alcohol or any drug. They work with young people aged 11 to 19 years or up to aged 24 if they have a learning difficulty or disability. The team also offer support to young people who are concerned about a family member who uses drugs or alcohol. For details of the service or to make a referral visit the BDP website or call 0117 987 6008.
If you’re affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use you can access support through DHI who are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Call 0330 024 0445 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.